No. 21 Auburn saw its 11-game win streak end Friday night at Jane B. Moore Field as No. 4 Alabama defeated the Tigers 6-0 in the SEC opener.
Maddie Penta started in the circle for the Tigers on Friday. The previously undefeated Penta struggled against the Crimson Tide, who handed Penta her first loss of the season.
Against Alabama, Penta pitched four innings and gave up nine hits, four runs and one unearned run while striking out two.
“If you’re going to pitch as much as these pitchers are going to pitch, wherever they are across the country, they’re going to have games like that,” said head coach Mickey Dean. “For her, we know it’s early in her career. It’s only the second SEC team that she’s faced, and it happened to be a top-five team who’s got a lot of power in their lineup.”
The Crimson Tide jumped out to an early lead in the first inning with an RBI double to bring home two runs.
Auburn loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the first, but a strikeout and ground out ended the scoring opportunity.
In the top of the second, Alabama’s home run extended the lead to 3-0. For Auburn, the bottom half of the inning featured two ground outs and a strikeout.
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While Penta and the Tigers gave up runs in the first and second inning, the freshman pitcher held the Crimson Tide scoreless in the third and fourth inning.
While the pitching and defense improved, Auburn was still unable to cross home plate. The Tigers got a second chance with the bases loaded in the bottom of the third with no outs.
Auburn’s second chance with the bases loaded resulted in the Tigers popping out, striking out and grounding out without any runs being scored.
After the third inning, Auburn’s bats fell silent as the Tigers only had two more hits the rest of the way.
After keeping Alabama scoreless in both the third and fourth, the Crimson Tide got back on the board in the fifth inning. Alabama led off the inning with a single and followed it up with a two-run home run.
Following the home run, Auburn called upon Lexie Handley to finish the game out. Handley pitched three innings allowing two hits, one walk, one run and one strikeout.
In the seventh, Handley gave up a home run to give Alabama a 6-0 lead as Auburn followed up by going three up and three down.
The Tigers and Crimson Tide are taking part in a three-game series at Jane B. Moore Field this weekend. Saturday’s game will start at 4 p.m. CST and will air on SEC Network-plus.
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